Our Liturgy & Nusach

The original customs and liturgy of OLS reflected the rites of Baghdadi Jews who were the founders of our community. While maintaining fealty to Orthodox practice, over the years our liturgy evolved to accommodate a newer demographic that included Ashkeanzim.

Today our liturgy reflects a mixture of Ashkenazic and Sephardic elements. We continue to practice birkat kohanim, the priestly blessing, daily. Often on Shabbat morning the mizmorim and much of shacharit are recited in unison and mussaf  reverts to a more Ashkenazic style. Wherever possible, we try to combine these two elements.

As an example, for tefillat tal, the Prayer for Dew, we have incorporated the Sephardic practice of reciting a piyut before mussaf as well as the Ashkenazic piyut that is part of the hazzan’s repetition. When this blend is impractical, for example on Hoshana Rabbah, we hold two services.

Our selichot service follows the Sephardic rite and for the High Holidays we offer an Ashkenazi and a Sephardic service.

The prayerbooks we offer are Artscroll and Koren (sephard) and Magen Abraham (sepharadi).